Record Store Day

As you can tell from the title, the idea of having a day in the year when we celebrate our, erm, record stores, has come to us from the USA. Though no one, not one single person here in Britain would call a record shop a ‘record store’ in my experience. OK?

Dig Vinyl. In the basement of Soho's, Bold Street.

Dig Vinyl. In the basement of Soho’s, Bold Street.

Having made that clear the day, whatever it’s called, is this Saturday, 19th April. And a joyous day it should prove to be too. Here’s how it describes itself:

“This is the one day that all of the independently owned record stores come together with artists to celebrate the art of music. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day and hundreds of artists across the globe make special appearances and performances. Festivities include performances, meet & greets with artists, DJ’s, in store quizzes and many other events.”

Well, spare me the quizzes, but for me this last year has been one where record shops have returned to my life in a big way. Since rediscovering the joys of vinyl last summer I’m back on familiar record flicking terms with all the best record shops and market stalls within a 30 mile radius of home. Peacefully searching through their LPs for old favourites and new gems.

Flicking through the racks.

Flicking through the racks.


This week alone I’ve taken possession of long-beloved ‘Mirrors’ by Peggy Lee and ‘East Side Story’ by Squeeze. As well as the gorgeous and brand new ‘Hendra’ by Ben Watt. So our house is now regularly happy with the sounds of vinyl. A sound last heard around these parts over 20 years ago.

New this week, on LP.

New this week, on LP.

Not that ‘Record Store Day’ is all about vinyl. It isn’t. But there’s no doubt that the survival and now quiet resurgence of analogue music is being best served by the independents. Indeed most independent record shops of my acquaintance are mostly about vinyl singles and LPs, with CDs, where there are any, fitted in down the side of the shop. Echoing how it is in our house, where the few CDs remaining are only for playing in the car.

So then, what’s happening in Liverpool on Saturday?

Well, here’s what’s on offer from our newest emporium, Dig Vinyl:

Dig Vinyl

Though Dig Vinyl only arrived in Bold Street a few weeks ago it’s already much loved by many, and you’ll certainly see me at some or all of what they’re up to on Saturday.

Down at the Bluecoat, Probe Records are opening at a worrying 8am so true devotees can get their hands on exclusive Record Store Day releases.

While dance shop 3B records on Slater Street will have DJ sessions through the day.

A full list of other Liverpool activities can be found here from Peter Guy at the Liverpool Echo.

Probe Records. CDs reduced to a spectating role, you'll note.

Probe Records. CDs reduced to a spectating role, you’ll note.

And those Record Store Day special releases? Well there’s a full list here, but there are so many of them I can’t see any single record shop carrying them all. So just get down to your local independent and see what there is. That’s the great joy of record shopping. You never know what you’ll find.

Here is one lovely Record Store Day special release. It’s Tracey Thorn singing a song by Molly Drake. Yes, Nick’s mother. Clearly his biggest influence. Listen:

Also written by Molly Drake, and so contributing to her posthumous fame is another Record Store Day special single by Martin & Eliza Carthy. Mark Radcliffe has just played it towards the end of the BBC Radio 2 folk programme, seriously beautiful.

Finally, another vinyl find from earlier this week. The sound of pure joy, perfectly encapsulating everything Record Store Day stands for, ‘Happiness is being with the Detroit Spinners’ – those Rubberband Men:

Record Store Day is this coming Saturday, 19th April. Check here for what’s happening near to where you are. And brighten your life with the sounds of music. Independent music.

4 thoughts on “Record Store Day

  1. jbaird

    This is so cool. And I do remember these called record stores in the USA. We have such a vintage store in the downtown area of our small city. A nice revival of an independent movement. I look forward to hearing more.

    1. Ronnie Hughes Post author

      Yes, after so many closing down, the survivors and the new ones are now doing quietly well. But it’s still well worth the boost this special day gives them.

      And though this post felt a bit trivial to write straight after my Hillsborough remembrance, in the end I reflected that this is exactly the sort of everyday joy denied to someone needlessly killed. The joy of music, the joy of beautiful songs to sing and share with friends. That’s not too much to ask from life is it?

  2. stan cotter

    hi ron demobbed 1955 and on a course for telegraphs in the post office in manchester a friend and me working t ogether on live work and helping each other , received a telegram to a music publisher in manchester from america, it stated (approx after all these years) this record is recommended as a future hit please take notice… the record in question was “catch a falling star by perry como… history proves them right and my mate and me claimed to fame being the first here to know about it lol


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